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Roger Goodell Makes His Opinion On Brian Flores Very Clear

Roger Goodell on the field before an NFL game.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell enters the stadium ahead of the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The NFL concluded its investigation into the Miami Dolphins stemming from Brian Flores' tanking allegations against the team.

While the league stripped the Dolphins of two draft picks and levied a fine and suspension against owner Stephen Ross, it did not determine that the team intentionally lost games to improve its draft positioning in 2019.

However, the report nevertheless stated that Ross encouraged the team to prioritize a high pick over its record. And in response to Flores' claim of getting offered $100,000 per loss, the investigation pointed to "different recollections of the wording, timing, and context" of such a comment.

In the league's full statement, as illuminated by ESPN's Brooke Pryor, commissioner Roger Goodell said such remarks, even in jest, posed an "unnecessary potential risk to the integrity of the game." He praised Flores for nevertheless putting his best foot forward.

“The comments made by Mr. Ross did not affect Coach Flores' commitment to win, and the Dolphins competed to win every game," Goodell said. "Coach Flores is to be commended for not allowing any comment about the relative importance of draft position to affect his commitment to win throughout the season.”

Widely expected to be among the top contenders for 2020's No. 1 pick, the Dolphins won their final two games to finish 5-11. 

Though they missed out on the chance to draft Joe Burrow with the first selection, they could have taken Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa at pick No. 5.

Flores, now a defensive coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said in a statement through his attorney that he's "disappointed" that Ross "will avoid any meaningful consequence." He said there's "nothing more important" to football than maintaining the game's integrity.